Broadcast History - February 16

Broadcast History - February 16

Postby jon » Mon Feb 15, 2021 8:02 pm

In 1923, Foster Hewitt was given just a few hours notice for his first hockey broadcast assignment. On CFCA, the station that The Toronto Star founded the year before. As well as becoming the greatest hockey play-by-play announcer in the world, Hewitt also founded CKFH Toronto. In its prime, CKFH was very credible competition to CHUM's Top 40 dominance. No small feat given that, during the same period, CHUM held the all-time record for number of Canadian listeners to music-based radio. Foster was 83 when he died on April 21, 1985.


In 1937, CRCV Vancouver, having been taken over by the new CBC late the previous year, increased power from 500 to 5000 watts (some sources say 10,000 watts). Call letters were changed to CBR later that same year, and to CBU in 1952. Frequency remained 1100 KHz, from signon in 1925 as CNRV, until the Big Frequency Shuffle of 1941, when 1130 KHz was assigned. CBR should have stayed there, but instead opted for Canada-Mexico clear channel 690 KHz on January 25, 1952, changing call letters to CBU at the same time. Back then, who would have believed that a 5000 watt non-directional Tijuana station, XEAC, would turn into English Top 40 powerhouse XEAK with 50,000 watts tightly pointed due North at Los Angeles? ...and Vancouver? On the other hand, CKWX grabbed its chance at 50,000 watts and switched from 980 to 1130 KHz before CBU realized the mistake they had made. The irony is that the CBC was the broadcast regulator at the time.
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